Vision, Mission and Principles

Document notes:
This document was extracted from a world wide web document titled Organizational Effectiveness - DOIT ORGANIZATION MANUAL from the Division of Information Technology- University of Wisconsin-Madison. Organization oriented paragraphs were modified to reflect the Employment Development Department. Some reformatting for easier reading was done. Source:



Customer Focus
Human Resource Policies



To be successful in:

Transforming the ways that our Department shares ideas and information
Helping build a Department that is professionally strong, flexible, and competitive in a changing marketplace
Helping staff, management, partners, and clients realize their visions through the use of information technology



The Department is to be a world class leader in the creation, transformation, transfer, and application of knowledge. Success in this mission requires an integrated environment of information technologies that supports and enhances the activities of our staff, management, partners, and clients, as well as the management and operation of the Department.


Information Technology Architecture (ITA) leads the development of an integrated information technology environment that actively aids and enhances the academic and support activities of the Department.
ITA delivers an architecture that enables IT products and services that allows staff, management, partners, and clients to achieve or surpass the Department's goals.


Cultural change does not occur quickly. Cultural principles require continual reinforcement. We must nurture the new culture through conscious use of language, feedback, reward and recognition systems, coaching and training, budget management, and methods. For example, the ITA teams will emphasize the language of "clients" and "customer" and "buying and selling products".
The following is a list of the cultural principles for ITA. It summarizes many of the cultural changes that are synergistic with and reinforced by structural change.

Customer Focus

  1. The purpose of ITA is to serve its customers, not control them.
  2. All work requires a customer. (Exceptions are noted below under "Entrepreneurship" and "Risk.") The need for a customer to make a purchase decision ensures that we deliver value as perceived by our customers, and that we are business-driven rather than technology-driven.
  3. We help our customers succeed with their missions as they perceive them by serving their expressed needs.
  4. We ask our customers what they want, listen to what they tell us, and work together with them to meet their needs. We do not second guess our customers by deciding what we think is "best for the Department."
  5. We strive to offer our customers the best value for the money. To do so, we must understand what they value.
  6. We strive for a healthy partnership with our customers, where each party sees a vested interest in the success of the other.


  1. Everyone is responsible for his or her own quality. There are no inspectors and no other team, organization or group will make up for another's lack of quality.
  2. Quality is defined in the eyes of the customer. Since customers may vary in their willingness to pay for perfection, quality does not always mean doing things perfectly; rather, it means meeting or exceeding customer requirements and expectations in the best possible way within the budget given.
  3. Quality means:
  4. Quality includes:


  1. ITA is a "business within a business." Similarly, each team, organization or group within ITA is its own "business within a business," and leaders are evaluated as an independent business-person. This spirit of entrepreneurship will be carried through as many levels of the organization as possible.
  2. Jobs are defined by results--not by tasks, responsibilities, or territories as in bureaucracies.
  3. ITA competes within a "marketplace" composed of its customers throughout the Department community.
  4. ITA must earn business through superior performance. We do not command a monopoly. Customers may buy services outside, or do the work themselves.
  5. As entrepreneurs:
  6. Leaders are responsible for their own:


  1. Decision-making authority will be granted to match responsibilities.
  2. Each team, organization or group controls its own resources.
  3. With empowerment, there is also accountability for results.


  1. We form clear contracts with our customers and suppliers. Contracts are not long or legalistic, and for simple projects they may be verbal. They are, however, clear agreements between customers and suppliers.
  2. We may satisfy a contract either by doing the work or buying completed products from others inside or outside the Department.
  3. When contracting, each team, organization or group can commit only itself. If subcontracts are required, the agreement of subcontractors must be gained (as to time and price) before a prime contract can be finalized.
  4. Contracts represent solid commitments (not "to do" lists). Contracts specify the product or service, costs, the delivery date, and mutual roles.
  5. Contracts can only be established by mutual agreement. If a change is required, a new contract is negotiated.
  6. We help our customers to make wise economic decisions by providing them with an understanding of the full cost of their buying decisions before they are asked to agree to a contract.
  7. We update contract status by appropriate methods whenever changes occur.
  8. We keep our customers informed about progress on a contract.


  1. Customers decide on the degree of "technological and business" risk they wish to take in their projects.
  2. Product and service providers (at whatever level of the organization that issued the contract) accept all "project management" risk, that is, responsibility for fulfilling contracts on time and on budget, and for all of the decisions about technique and "make versus buy" implicit in the work. To manage our risk, we prefer short projects over long projects. Ideally, projects will be scoped so as to be completed in six months or less.
  3. Customers must accept the risk of their staff not accepting the product and the risk of it not paying off. However, we will do every thing within our power to be sure that customers receive the expected benefits, in order to ensure repeat business.
  4. As entrepreneurs, we may take some risks and perform work without a customer under the following circumstances:
  5. ITA management will specify the degree of risk that is allowed each team, organization or group by providing budget authority, and then empowering staff to make their own decisions within these budgets.


  1. Each team, organization or group within ITA, while independent, depends on the success of the whole entity. We are a single entrity and as a whole present a single face to clients.
  2. We will act strictly within our charters and domains.
  3. Members of ITA do not criticize each other outside of the organization. We do critique each other freely in private, however, to constructively seek improvements in our products and services.
  4. Leads, referrals, feedback, and other valuable information will be passed freely between organizations. Each ITA team, organization or group will encourage its clients to utilize the services of other groups in the Branch. For example, if the client would benefit from an unbiased needs assessment but he or she approaches a Technologist directly, the Technologist will gracefully refer the client to the Consultancy (either Strategic Consulting or Sales Consulting).
  5. No team, organization or group within ITA will expand its territory in such a way as to compete with another ITA organization.
  6. Teams, organizations or groups trust each other to deliver on contracts. Thus, we are just as comfortable subcontracting to each other as doing the work ourselves.
  7. We keep each other informed about:
  8. Whenever possible, we will buy services from others within the Branch rather than from outside. Through this mechanism of subcontracting, teams are formed dynamically in response to project requirements.
  9. Conflicts will be resolved at the lowest possible level. They will not fester, but will be resolved immediately through open discussions. Outcomes will be decided based on the best interest of the Department as a whole, and on the principles of the structure and the culture.


  1. Performance will be measured against clearly stated, agreed- upon objectives. Recognition will be based on performance. This includes teamwork as well as individual performance.
  2. Among other objectives, we, as entrepreneurs, are recognized for earning "business," that is attracting clients to work through us rather than use outside resources or do the work themselves.
  3. As entrepreneurs, we are not valued for increasing the size of our staff. We earn business by delivering maximum value at minimum cost.
  4. We would rather buy than make since this conserves scarce fixed resources for high-leverage tasks that only we can do.


  1. When clients choose to do work themselves, we will support and mentor them whenever possible.
  2. If it best serves the interests of the clients, we will help them develop their own counterparts to our staff.

Human Resource Policies

  1. ITA will value staff for a variety of contributions to the organization such as: customer focus, teamwork, knowledge, experience, supervisory responsibilities, financial management, strategic impact, and external relationships, but not for increasing staff.
  2. In ITA, which has a flat organizational structure, career progress can be made through moves to different specialties as well as moves to a different supervisory level.
  3. All staff are responsible for their own professional development. Managers will coach and encourage development, and allocate available resources, but initiatives must come from each individual. Training will be made available in management, entrepreneurship, and technical areas.


  1. Everyone in the meeting will be responsible for the effectiveness of the meeting.
  2. Meetings will be well-managed and start on time.
  3. A spirit of "truth-seeking" is encouraged, where people are free to propose ideas and explore them without feeling ownership or defensiveness.
  4. People will listen to each other, and help others listen by pointing out miscommunication.
  5. When a topic is not yet resolved and a new topic is raised, one issue will be "parked" until the other is brought to closure or consciously postponed (rather than talking about two issues at once or letting one go unresolved).
  6. When consensus is reached, discussion will move on to a new topic. Not everyone must say something about every issue; rather only new thoughts should be added to the discussion.
  7. Decision making is participative rather than democratic. The decision maker will gather everyone's input, but the decision then rests with the responsible individual.


  1. Structure will be based on ITA principles and designed to satisfy clients' expectations of results, not their expectations of structure. Structure will not be modified to accommodate the needs of individuals.
  2. Organization structure will be as flat as possible. To the extent possible, each team, organization or subgroup will be designed as an independent, empowered entrepreneurship. Since everyone is to a great extent self-managing, span of control can be very wide.
  3. Each group must have more than one potential customer, or it may as well be part of that customer.
  4. The structure will accommodate all kinds of specialists including business specialists (technology generalists), technology specialists (business generalists) repair specialists, operational specialists, administrative specialists, etc.
  5. No group will be designed to pursue conflicting objectives. This demands the separation of responsibility for operations, technical invention, and business responsiveness. Other conflicts of interest, such as facilitation of a participative decision by one with a vested interest, will not be permitted.
  6. Jobs will be "whole," that is, people's responsibilities will be defined in terms of their products, not tasks. Each group should be completely responsible for all aspects of producing one or more products (although each group is empowered to use subcontractors), including research, planning, product development, and product maintenance and support. This leads to two corollaries:
  7. Jobs will not require time or abilities beyond that which can reasonably be expected. Requisite variety will be within a normal person's capabilities. For example, no job will require one to be an expert at more than one specialty.
  8. No team will be formed to make up for the deficiency of another team.
  9. Everything the Division does will be represented as the product or service within the domain of one and only one group.
  10. Charters and domains represent a complete description of each group's line of business. Charters describe in detail products sold to each type of customer, and bought from each type of supplier. Domains bound the area of expertise.
  11. Owners are responsible for maintaining the accuracy of their published charters.
  12. Charters may be changed by mutual agreement between a supplier and a customer. All changes must be within the accepted principles of the culture and organizational structure, unless the entire management team explicitly agrees to an exception. Organizational Effectiveness department is the keeper of official charters, and can help the involved parties to ensure that all changes are by mutual agreement, and are within the accepted principles of the organizational structure.
  13. The vendors and outside contractors that a group uses when it chooses to buy rather than make are assumed to live under the charter of the group that hired them.
  14. Decentralized staff who perform IT functions will be encouraged to adopt the same charter as their centralized counterparts.

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